Pte. K. Lutge – One of the 170+ men pictured on the honour boards held at Mosman Library. Learn more about this man.

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Behind the lines

Welcome to our team space. A key part of this project is sharing the work done ‘behind the scenes’. Learn about digital tools and technologies. Explore online sources relating to World War One.

3rd Ypres & Passchendaele

Infantry attack in Polygon Wood by Fred Leist (1919) ART02927

July 31, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the 3rd Ypres campaign, culminating in the wasteful Battle of Passchendaele, which claimed the lives of at least 44 volunteers from, or associated with, the local area.

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Darragh Christie · 31 July 2017 · # · Comment

Bloody April, 1917: P.G. Taylor survives

Taylors Sopwith Pup of 66 Squadron, by Mark Postlethwaite.

100 years ago a handful of Royal Flying Corps pilots — including the newly graduated 2nd Lieutenant P.G. Taylor — contested the skies with German hunting squadrons.

The life expectancy of an RFC pilot averaged only about 18 hours in April 1917. Many died because they flew, in the words of ‘Bill’ Taylor, a motley assortment of ‘…appallingly makeshift aeroplanes.’

This is their story…

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Darragh Christie · 25 April 2017 · # · · Comment

Captain Frederick Reidy Jolley

There is not a lot of information available on Captain Jolley He was born in Melbourne 1813 and had what seems to be a very interesting life. After serving in the Boer War he settled in New Guinea and worked as a planter for the infamous Queen Emma.

Jolley became the British Consul for German New Guinea (Rabaul) and in 1914 was imprisoned at the planation by the Germans. However, it was a short-lived imprisonment as Major F B Heritage of the Tropical Force arranged for his release. Jolley joined the 4th Infantry Battalion and served in France during the First World War.

After the war he returned to New Guinea, had a planation at Kokopo, became deputy Chairman of the Expropriation Board and in 1927 helped establish the Melanesian Company, a plantation and trading business. It was one of his employees, Sumsuma, who started the 1929 Rabaul Strike.

In 1932 Jolley purchased a property ‘Steepleton’ at 13 Silex Road, Mosman, purchased more portions, subdivided and in 1936 engaged architect Clifton D. Leake to design the Art Deco apartments ‘Greentrees Flat’ 11A Silex Road.

Donna · 24 April 2017 · # · Comment

Colonel Robert Sydney Sands M.B.E., V.D.

Colonel Robert Sands (centre) and two permanent German officers captured in New Guinea, Captain von Klevitz and Lieutenant Meyer. 1916
Portrait of Colonel Robert Sands (centre) and two permanent German officers captured in New Guinea, Captain von Klevitz and Lieutenant Meyer, c. 1916.

Robert was the grandson of John Sands who had established the successful Sydney printing company John Sands Pty Ltd in the 1840s. Robert was born in Sydney, educated at King’s School, Parramatta and at All Saints College, Bathurst.

After joining the Scottish Rifles in NSW as a bugler he quickly rose through the ranks. His skill in military matters, combined with a good business head, saw him hold responsible positions. He was Adjutant-quartermaster, and second in command of the 1st Australian Infantry Regiment, under General Holmes; he became A.D.C. to Governor –General Lord Northcote, liaison officer during the visit of the American Fleet and in 1914 was made Commandant of the concentration camps of Australasia. These included Trial Bay Goal and Holsworthy internment camps.

Holsworthy Camp, NSW, The YMCA Hall, the guards' canteen and the theatre, c. 1916
Holsworthy, New South Wales, c. 1916. The YMCA hall and guards’ canteen and the theatre at the German internment camp.

Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1916 it is believed Robert was asked to undertake secret service work that involved travel, to a number of countries, until the end of the war. He was created a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1924.

After the war Robert returned to John Sands Pty Ltd as Managing Director. In 1919 he moved into ‘Marmion’, 9 Silex Road, Mosman. This house had been designed by architect, Edwin Roy Orchard who was responsible for many Arts & Crafts houses in Clifton Gardens and Mosman.

Donna · 24 April 2017 · # · Comment

Silex Road, Mosman....

As always happens in Local Studies when we start researching one thing we, somehow, become distracted by another thing!

While researching an idea for an exhibition I came across a rather surprising piece of local information, then another and then another!

It appears one of the architects who designed the Australian War Memorial lived in Silex Road; the Commandant of the Internment Camps of Australasia during the First World War lived in Silex Road; a British Consul for German New Guinea lived in Silex Road.

 Mosman Local Studies Collection

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Donna · 24 April 2017 · # · Comment


Upcoming events

Plated Up: Australian Community War Memorials on Ceramic Ware

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Plated Up: Australian Community War Memorials on Ceramic Ware

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Simadas will present an overview of Australian community war memorials, the distinctive types built and how they evolved identifying the unique characteristics of Australian war memorials.

A feature of the evening will be the display of his intriguing collection of small ceramic wares portraying images of these Australian war memorials. Items range from plates, dishes cups, shaving mugs to miniature clock and bell towers. These are a wonderful and sensitive ‘Memorial’ in their own right.

In all the years Paul has been collecting he has never found a piece depicting memorials in Tasmania. Perhaps someone out there has one?

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Saving Our Private Ryan and Sgt. Wilkinson's Memories

Monday 28 May 2018

Private Ryan and Sgt Wilkson two very different stories of two very different men and their experiences in the Great War. One was fought for his anti-war beliefs and the other only told his grandson his story on his deathbead.

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Help us transcribe

Help us transcribe diaries, letters and honour rolls.

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Other WWI commemoration projects

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